Eastern long neck trying to get out

Discussion in 'Other Australian Reptiles and Amphibians' started by Scooter_M, May 3, 2020.

  1. Scooter_M

    Scooter_M New Member

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    Hi all,
    I'm wondering if anyone can shed any light on an eastern long neck always trying climb out at night. Makes a hell of a splashing sound that's really annoying.

    History: we've had him for about 4years, about 15cm. He was in a 4x1x1.5 foot his whole life from a juvi untill he started splashing, so we took that as a sign it was time for him to move to a bigger tank (took longer than expected to do this because we were renovating our place to make more space). Upgrading him to a 6x2x2, all waters good, clean, and day 2 in his new tank off he goes again, moment the lights go out and we goto bed, splash splash splash. He'll settle after a bit and start up again about 2am.

    He never tries to just climb up his basking platform onto his log, just always at the glass. If we tank him out the tank for a run around he does the same thing to walls or just sits in the corner. It's like once he's out he has no idea what he wants to do.

    Any thoughts would be great.

    Cheers

    Scotty
     
  2. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Hey Scotty, do you have any pics of your turtle's aquarium? Also, what is the water temperature maintained at? What is the turtle fed primarily and how often?
    If your turtle is indeed a confirmed male, at its size it would be sexually mature and this time of year (weather cooling) is the frisky season for freshwater turtles.
    20190830_174715.jpg

    ELN's are far more terrestrial exploratory than any other Australian species, they're the most commonly seen species wandering overland during the day in rainy weather and crossing roads. It's behaviour to me suggests it's looking for "greener pastures" as something's not quite right.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
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  3. Scooter_M

    Scooter_M New Member

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    Morning Flaviemys, thanks for the reply, see photo below. Water is kept at the moment at 24, we were considering turning it down a bit o match the season so he maybe calmed down? I should not that this activity of trying to climb out hasnt just been confined to cooler weather however. He was doing during summer too.

    I feed him a combination of normal earth worms which he usually loves and Exo Terra Aquatic Turtle adult pellets. I was always told feed him the same amount as the size of his head, 5 days out of 7 a week, so generally follow that. Although more often than not he'll have pellets left over.

    I certainly agree with you with the "somethings not right", hence we made the effort to get him into his new big tank, and with all clean water (combined with some of his own from his other tank obviously) the PH is good, ammonia and nitrates havnt even had a chance to get too high yet. I just dont get it. I should also note, this is only ever at night time, during the day he's happy to swim around.

    upload_2020-5-3_8-44-42.png
     
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  4. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    OK mate, your habitat is far from the worst I've seen that's for sure, the only changes I'd recommend is scrapping the aquarium gravel substrate and swapping it with natural river sand mixed with calgrit to a depth no deeper than 3cm. This is a far safer alternative to aquarium gravel as turtles will inadvertently ingest it and it will not pass through their digestive tract.
    Turtles kept on gravel substrates look like this when X-rayed.
    20200503_090634.jpg

    Turtles kept on sand and calgrit look like this...
    15420813_1838168019763193_2297514830747477164_n.jpg

    A natural river sand substrate also allows turtles to exhibit normal behaviour like burying themselves. They cannot do this on gravel.
    Screenshot_2016-11-27-14-07-36.png

    Assorteed pieces of driftwood are also a far better alternative than river rocks.

    With your haul out/basking area, it needs to be HOT and BRIGHT for the turtle to be enticed to use it... A good MVB lamp creating a hot spot of around 36 degrees for 2-3 hours in the morning and 2-3 hours in the evening is ideal.
    P1000334-1.JPG
    The basking area should be positioned in a back corner of the tank furthest from human traffic and hidden from view if possible.

    The turtle also needs somewhere to retreat to where it can feel safe at rest. A terracotta pot is the trick here. Saw one in half, you have 2 instant turtle caves your turtle will appreciate.
    4306-1474355858-cd2942dea492e2d9ebe9fcf538f29376.jpg
    20170608_120735.jpg
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    OK, this may come as a shock but it's basically a miracle that your turtle is eating pellets because ELN simply don't do that, they are a predatory carnivorous/insectivorous species that actively hunts LIVE prey, they are not scavengers like short-necks that will readily accept commercially available "turtle foods." Basically your turtle is eating those pellets out of lack of options, if it didn't eat the pellets, it would starve to death. My ELN's are fed a varied diet of live wood roaches, live freshwater shrimps, yabbies (claws removed), fish, earthworms, soldier fly larvae and silkworms.
    7574-uploadfromtaptalk1388437385117.jpg
    Freshwater shrimps.jpg
    Red-claw crayfish.jpg
    20160812_150846-1.jpg
    worms-1.jpg
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    An ELN's aquarium should contain at least 100 live fish at all times, for behavioural enrichment and stimulation. I personally keep up to 1000 in mine. This will prevent displacement behaviour such as what your turtle is exhibiting.
    20180121_170951.jpg

    ELN and Flaviemys purvisi wrestle over a silkworm.
    20171028_070344.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2020
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  5. Scooter_M

    Scooter_M New Member

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    Hey mate,

    Thanks very much for the info. Firstly just inregards to the subtrate, he's got calgrit mixed in with the gravel, he was on river sand in his 4foot tank, but during this recent upgrade we got advice from the aquarium that it wasnt such a big thing about being on pebbles, they in fact have their display tanks with pebbles. So we have a bunch of sand i can wash from downstairs and extra left over we can can use if we need, but there goes 120$! Regarding the other stuff, thats an easy fix, i'll get a pot cut up today, we have heaps laying around, and looks like i need just a little desk lamp or something to give that spot some extra heat, the globe is already a 80W UV Solar Glo, but i was working on information to be about 30degrees, not 36. So i'll get a 100W next time. And fish is an easy buy obviously... although not cheap...

    Just regarding the food, some of the food you've mentioned is land dwelling, would you just drop it in the tank? or feed him out of the water for those ones?
     
  6. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Hey again, yeah unfortunately the advice you were given about the aquarium gravel is really bad, it's actually a huge problem for captive turtles as it also causing scarring and pitting of their plastrons.
    Turtle kept on gravel...
    15542092_1337977576234181_1503497668796148356_n.jpg

    Turtle kept on sand..
    20150912_113512-1.jpg

    Yeah a basking area of 30° is only 4° warmer than your water... you want a basking area 10-12° warmer than the water or they simply won't bother.

    Turtles cannot eat out of the water, they need to be submerged to be able to swallow so yes, all live food items including insects and worms simply get thrown into the water. :)

    If you have a lake or dam close by, it's a lot more feasible to trap your own feeder fish, that's what I do.
    1219-1361172260-8d9ab7b954c403e80a5a44d74630d530.jpg
     
  7. Scooter_M

    Scooter_M New Member

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    Thanks again mate, to be clear about the pebbles, ours are more like little river rocks, most of them almost the size of his head, or atleast half the size of his head at a minimum, so its not that scratchy small 1mm gravel stuff. Understand what you said before about burying themselves, but i think probably less of an issue for the digestion and the pitting you've shown above. Not to say we dont need to swap it over at some point, but you can imagine a bit disheartening after just setting this up and spending all the money.

    What do you think of a mate? Basically except for the food, your saying he's bored from what i gather?

    Have you had any experience with outdoor ponds for ELN? We're in melbourne.

    Cheers.
     
  8. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Yeah the problem with any rocks is they trap detritus and harbour anaerobic bacteria and in a closed environment like an aquarium, it's not ideal... that is how shell rot starts in captive turtles.
    Turtles should never be kept in pairs, only in groups of 4 or more.
     
  9. Scooter_M

    Scooter_M New Member

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    Thanks again so much for your help.

    Was going to ask about the fish, even feeder fish at a couple of dollars each, to build up that kind of school, thats a lot of cash. We have a few dams around, but all private. Nobody i could really throw a trap.
     
  10. Allan

    Allan Subscriber Subscriber

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    What size is the Calgrit granules? Any problems with clogging filters and strainers?
     
  11. Scooter_M

    Scooter_M New Member

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    Normal calgrit I guess? 2-3mm, no clogging issues, also this is basically a new set up everything got a clean when i moved it over.
     
  12. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    The sole purpose of calgrit in a turtle's aquarium is to buffer the pH, KH and GH to prevent calcium deficiency syndrome, metabolic bone disease, soft shell and shell rot. Calgrit is fully digestible if ingested and won't cause impaction like aquarium gravel will.
    Calgrit Analytical Data.png
     
  13. Scooter_M

    Scooter_M New Member

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    So after a trip to the pet store for fish and feed, we could only get worms, which he happily watched float by, didn't touch, and went back to swimming at the glass.
     
  14. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    He won't recognise them as food immediately having never been offered them before. Live fish like guppies, neon tetras and firetail gudgeons will definitely pique his interest.
     
  15. Scooter_M

    Scooter_M New Member

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    Yeah we got a few of those, but breaking news, he then went off and starting to try and eat the rock. As in the big one, pecking at the face of it like a bird. Sometimes I think he's just blind as a bat.
     
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  16. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Hehe yeah... ELN are a few sandwiches short of a picnic. They're far from the sharpest of Australian freshwater turtle species but they make up for their lack of smarts with bucketloads of personality.

    If it makes you feel any better... Here's a shot of my male now... doing well, only he knows what the hell he's doing.
    20200418_130800.jpg
     
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  17. Scooter_M

    Scooter_M New Member

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    Lol seems legit. Will keep you posted on how he goes here. So far he doesn't want to even eat some earth worms, so he can't be that hungry I figure. Main thing is hopefully we can get rid of the splashing!
     
  18. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    If the worms are like baby snakes they'll be too intimidating. I use compost worms AKA tiger worms or red wrigglers, they're only skinny little things about 2 inches long.
     
  19. Scooter_M

    Scooter_M New Member

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    Yeah that's exactly where I get them from, the compost, he's been eating them for years, so I know he knows what they are, right now he's just ignoring them and swimming around like a weirdo
     
  20. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Hunger is a great motivator. Hold up on the pellets, the crap he's used to. Turtles are like kids.... offer a kid MacDonald's every day for a year then throw a fruit salad in front of them and watch them turn up their nose. It's a game of wits and turtles are great at getting their keepers to give them what they want... tough love it. His health and longevity are at stake.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, May 3, 2020, Original Post Date: May 3, 2020 ---
    Make sure your turtle has a normal circadian rhythm... a normal day/night cycle. When it's dark outside, no lighting should be on over its aquarium or even in the room the tank is in.
     

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